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1. ACT RELATING TO THE APPOINTMENT OF PROFESSORS IN ALL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARIES.
[The Assembly of 1870 passed the following act, the second section of which deals with the Seminaries established by the Assembly.]
(1) Accepting the offer so generously made by the Directors of the Union Theological Seminary, in New York-a Seminary independent hitherto of all direct ecclesiastical control-to invest the General Assembly with the right of a veto in the election of Professors in that institution, this Assembly would invite all those theological Seminaries not now under the control of the General Assembly to adopt at their earliest convenience the same rule and method, to the end that, throughout the whole Presbyterian Church, there may be uniform and complete confidence in those entrusted with the training of our candidates for the ministry.
(2) That the several Boards of Directors of those Seminaries which are now under the control of the General Assembly shall be authorized to elect, suspend and displace the Professors of the Seminaries under their care, subject in all cases to the veto of the General Assembly, to whom they shall annually make a full report of their proceedings, and to whom their minutes shall be submitted whenever the Assembly shall require them to be produced. These boards shall further be authorized to fix the salaries of the Professors, and to fill their own vacancies, subject in all cases to the veto of the General Assembly. [1870, p. 63.]
2. ACT RELATING TO THE TIME-LIMIT OF VETO.
That the Assembly declare that the true meaning of the act subjecting the election of a Professor to the veto of the Assembly is that such election be reported to the
next General Assembly thereafter; and if not vetoed by that Assembly, the election shall be regarded as complete, according to the plan ratified by the Assembly of 1870. [1871, p. 58.]
3. ACT SPECIFYING CONDITIONS UPON WHICH NEW THEOLOGICAL SEMINARIES WILL BE RECOGNIZED.
(1) That each and all of the Seminaries of the Church be requested to secure, at the earliest moment practicable, such changes in their charters, or amendments thereto, as will provide
(a) That all of their funds and property, subject to the terms and conditions of existing or specific trusts, shall be declared to be held by them in trust for the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, for the purposes of theological education according to the Standards of said Church, and that no part of the funds and property so held in trust shall be used for any other purpose than for theological education in the doctrines set forth in the Standards of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
(b) That the election of the Trustees, Directors or Commissioners, or whatever the bodies governing the teaching or property shall be named, shall be subject to the approval of the next succeeding General Assembly, and that no election shall take effect until approved by the General Assembly; failure of the General Assembly to which said elections are reported for approval to act thereon shall be regarded as approval of said elections.
(c) That the election, appointment, or transfer of all professors and teachers in all Seminaries shall be submitted to the next succeeding General Assembly for its approval, and that no such election, appointment or transfer shall take effect, nor shall any professor or teacher be inducted into office until his election, appointment or transfer shall have been approved by the said General Assembly; failure of the General Assembly to which the said elections, appointments or transfers are reported for
approval to act thereon shall be regarded as approval thereof, and that all of said professors and teachers shall be either ministers or members in good standing of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
(d) That in the event of the violation of any of the terms of said amendments, or the misuse or the diversion of the funds or property held by them, then the General Assembly shall be empowered to provide against such violation of the provisions of said charters, and for the enforcement of the same, and for the protection of the trusts on which said property and funds are held, in such manner, and in the name of such person or corporation, as it may direct by resolution certified by its Clerk, in any civil court having jurisdiction over the corporations whose charters are so amended.
(2) That all Seminaries hereafter established or organized shall contain in their charters the foregoing provisions as an essential part thereof, before they shall be recognized as in connection with the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. [1894, p. 65.]
1. ACT REGULATING THE RECEPTION OF MINISTERS FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES.
(1) When any minister or licentiate from Europe shall come into this country, and desire to become connected with the Presbyterian Church in the United States, he may apply to any committee appointed to direct the services of traveling ministers and candidates, which committee shall inspect his credentials, and, by examination or otherwise, endeavor to ascertain his soundness in the faith and experimental acquaintance with religion, his attainments in divinity and literature, his moral and religious character, and approbation of our public standards. of doctrine and discipline. If the result be such as to encourage further trial, said committee may give him ap
pointments to supply and recommend him to the churches till the next meeting of the Presbytery to which such committee belongs. It shall then become the duty of such minister or licentiate to apply to that Presbytery, or to any other in whose bounds he may incline to labor, provided that he always make his application to the Presbytery at their first meeting after his coming within their bounds; and also, that immediately on coming within the bounds of any Presbytery, he apply to their committee to judge of his certificate of approbation, and, if they think it expedient, to make him appointments; or, if it shall be more convenient, application may be made to the Presbytery in the first instance; but it shall be deemed irregular for any foreign minister or licentiate to preach in any vacant church till he have obtained the approbation of some Presbytery or committee of Presbytery, in manner aforesaid.
(2) The Presbytery to which such minister or licentiate may apply, shall carefully examine his credentials, and not sustain a mere certificate of good standing, unless corroborated by such private letters or other collateral testimony, as shall fully satisfy them as to the authenticity and sufficiency of his testimonials. After inspecting any references of his literary acquirements which may be laid before them, the Presbytery shall enter into a free conversation with him, in order to discover his soundness in the faith and experimental acquaintance with religion. If they shall obtain satisfaction on these several articles, they shall proceed to examine him on the learned languages, the arts, sciences, theology, church history and government, nor shall they receive him unless he shall appear to have made such attainments in these several branches as are required of those who receive their education or pass their trials among ourselves. But if, upon the whole, he appears to be a person worthy of encouragement, and who promises usefulness in the Church, they shall receive him as a minister or candidate on approbation, he first adopting our standards of doctrine and dis
cipline, and promising subjection to the Presbytery in the Lord. During this state of probation he may preach the gospel where regularly called, either as a stated or occasional supply; and, if an ordained minister, perform every part of the ministerial functions, except that he may not vote in any judicatory, or accept a call for settlement.
(3) If the foreigner who shall apply to any Presbytery or committee, as aforesaid, be an ordained minister, such committee and Presbytery may, at their discretion, dispense with the special examination on literature in this case prescribed, provided he shall exhibit satisfactory evidence that he has received such education, and made such progress in languages, arts, and sciences as are required by the constitution of our Church as qualifications for the gospel ministry. But in all other respects, the examination shall be the same as in the case of a licentiate.
(4) If from the prospects of settlement, or greater usefulness, a minister or licentiate under probation in any Presbytery shall wish to move into the bounds of another, he shall receive a dismission, containing a certificate of his standing and character, from the Presbytery under whose care he shall have been, which certificate shall entitle him to the same standing in the Presbytery into whose bounds he shall come, except that from the time of his coming under the care of this latter Presbytery, a whole year shall elapse before they come to a final judgment respecting his reception.
(5) When any foreign minister or licentiate, received on certificate, or pursuant to trials in any Presbytery, shall have resided generally and preached within their bounds and under their direction for at least one year, they shall cause him to preach before them (if they judge it expedient), and, taking into consideration as well the evidence derived from their former trials as that which may arise from his acceptance in the churches, his prudence, gravity, and godly conversation, and from the combined evidence of the whole, determine either to receive him, to reject him, or to hold him under further probation. In